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Systemic Advocacy

Systemic Advocacy is when a group of people work together to advance their collective rights and interests, such as by campaigning and speaking with politicians and the government. CoMHWA represents our member’s views by engaging in consultations including surveys and focus groups on particular issues and our regular advisory groups.

Listen. Advocate. Change.

Funded by the Department of Communities, CoMHWA undertakes systemic advocacy by and for people with lived experience of mental health challenges, emotional distress, trauma, neurodivergence and psychosocial disability in Western Australia to help solve the issues that impact our lives.

Systemic advocacy is the long-term, strategic and often slow process of representing and advocating for the needs and interests of a group in services, government policies and community.

We advocate across a range of issues that can affect our mental health and wellbeing, such as mental health treatments, physical health, income, housing and stigma.

Collaboration and responsive policy advocacy is central to the work of CoMHWA. This is done through writing submissions, conducting issues-based campaigns, developing position statements, providing input and advice to government and other organisations, and participating in expert reference and advisory committees.

Click here to review some of the recent publications, submissions, and projects from our Systemic Advocacy team

How you can help:

  • Report an issue you’re concerned about so that we are aware of it.
  • Help out by sharing your views in our consultations and campaigns.
  • Keep an eye out for opportunities to join our CoMHWA Advisory Groups.

If there’s something within the mental health sector that you think is an inherent systemic issue, we’d love to hear about it.

As a consumer advocacy organisation, we want to make it simple for your voice to be heard and make sure your message gets delivered to those who need to hear it.

Email the Systemic Advocacy team today at sysadvocacy@comhwa.org.au to help us make a difference for mental health consumers together.

Click here to read the difference between systemic advocacy and individual advocacy

Consumer Advised Systemic Advocacy Meeting (CASAM)

CASAM is CoMHWA’s Consumer Advised Systemic Advocacy Meeting, drawing on the knowledge of passionate consumer representatives/advocates with experience in those roles. We meet regularly to discuss and take action on current issues in systemic advocacy – meetings are monthly and themed around contemporary issues discovered by CoMHWA, or recommended by CASAM members. The purpose of CASAM is to uphold consumer rights to a positive, trauma-informed, quality and recovery-focused experience within CoMHWA.

From our Terms of Reference, CASAM’s objectives are:

  1. To provide input, feedback and advice into the direction, planning, service delivery and evaluation of CoMHWA.
  2. To advise on matters relating to consumer engagement, consultation, participation and involvement within CoMHWA.
  3. To advise on matters relating to consumer workforce development within CoMHWA.
  4. To maintain an informed perspective on the broader issues affecting consumers through relationships with other local, state, and regional consumer networks.
  5. To identify and respond to consumer issues through liaison with CoMHWA, and to progress matters beyond CoMHWA if required.
  6. To consult with the diversity of voices and perspectives of consumers who are involved with CoMHWA.
  7. To liaise with other Consumer Advisory Groups and be aware of State mental health consumer issues.
  8. To promote consumer awareness and recovery understanding within CoMHWA, related services, and the local community.

Membership to CASAM is currently closed, but we invite any CoMHWA members interested in submitting an idea for a meeting topic to get in touch with our CASAM facilitator, Mad, at sysadvocacy@comhwa.org.au. CASAM posts a quarterly update about our activities in the CoMHWA newsletter, so you can keep up to date with what we’re currently working on.

Our CASAM group is made up of 15 dedicated and passionate CoMHWA members with a diverse range of advocacy experience, lived experience and social backgrounds. Some of our members have consented to have their names displayed here:

Affinee Lai
Alisha Driscoll

Anna Richards
Carli Sheers
Drew Brook

Elle Gelok
Jay Ridgway
Laura Partridge
Rachel Oliver

Samantha Young
Zac Boase

Our other members have chosen to remain anonymous.

Read CASAM’s annual report 2022-2023 here

Join our community

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By joining as a member you are helping mental health consumers
to be a voice for positive change in services and our communities.

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Membership is open to all those who support our objectives, including individuals, groups, organisations and businesses.

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We offer free, lifetime membership to mental health consumers and affordable memberships for organisations.

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